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Magnetic Circuit

Chapter one
Dr. Gamal Mahmoud Ali Sowilam
Electrical Engineering Department
* Analogy between magnetic circuit and electric circuit.
Rotating electrical machines, such as dc machines, induction
machines, and synchronous machines, are the most important
ones used to perform this energy conversion.
The transformer, although not an electromechanical converter,
plays an important role in the conversion process.
Other devices, such as actuators, solenoids, and relays, are
concerned with linear motion. In all these devices, magnetic
materials are used to shape and direct the magnetic fields that
act as a medium in the energy conversion process.
A major advantage of using magnetic material in electrical
machines is the fact that high flux density can be obtained in the
machine, which results in large torque or large machine output
per unit machine volume. In other words, the size of the
machine is greatly reduced by the use of magnetic materials.
in this chapter properties of magnetic materials are discussed
and some methods for analyzing the magnetic circuits are
In electrical machines, the magnetic circuits may be formed by
ferromagnetic materials only (as in transformers) or by
ferromagnetic materials in conjunction with an air medium (as
in rotating machines). In most electrical machines, except
permanent magnet machines, the magnetic field (or flux) is
produced by passing an electrical current through coils wound
on ferromagnetic materials.
When a conductor carries current a magnetic
field is produced around it. The direction of
flux lines or magnetic field intensity H can be
determined by what is known as the thumb
Thumb rule states that if the conductor is held with the right
hand with the thumb indicating the direction of current in the
conductor, then the fingertips will indicate the direction of
magnetic field intensity
The relationship between current
and field intensity can be obtained by
using Ampere's circuit law, which
states that the line integral of the
magnetic field intensity H around a
closed path is equal to the total
current linked by the contour.
where H is the magnetic field intensity at a point on the contour
and dl is the incremental length at that point. If θ is the angle
between vectors Hand dI, then
consider a conductor carrying current i as shown in
Figure. To obtain an expression for the magnetic
field intensity H at a distance r from the conductor,
draw a circle of radius r, At each point on this
circular contour, H and dl are in the same
direction, that is, θ = 0. Because of symmetry, H
will be the same at all points on this contour.
The magnetic field intensity H produces a magnetic flux density
B everywhere it exists. These quantities are functionally related
For free space or electrical conductors (such as aluminum or
copper) or insulators, the value of µr is unity.
for ferromagnetic materials (such as iron, cobalt, and nickel), the
value of µr varies from several hundred to several thousand.
For materials used in electrical machines, µr varies in the range
of 2000 to 6000.
A large value of µr implies that a small current can produce a
large flux density in the machine.
a simple magnetic circuit having a ringshaped magnetic core, called a toroid,
and a coil that extends around the entire
circumference. When current i flows
through the coil of N turns, magnetic flux
is mostly confined in the core material.
The flux outside the toroid, called leakage
flux, is so small that for all practical
purposes it can be neglected.
Consider a path at a radius r. The magnetic intensity on this path
is H and, from Ampere's circuit law,
The quantity Ni is called the magnetomotive force (mmf) F, and
its unit is ampere-turn.
If we assume that all the fluxes are confined in the toroid, that
is, there is no magnetic leakage, the flux crossing the cross
section of the toroid is:
where B is the average flux density in the core and A is the area
of cross section of the toroid. The average flux density may
correspond to the path at the mean radius of the toroid.
 is called the reluctance of
the magnetic path and P is
called the permeance of the
magnetic path.
Analogy between magnetic circuit and electric circuit.
electric circuit
magnetic circuit
If the magnetic intensity in
the core is increased by
increasing current, the flux
density in the core changes in
the way shown in Figure.
B-H characteristic (magnetization curve).
The flux density B increases almost linearly in the region of low
values of the magnetic intensity H. However, at higher values of
H, the change of B is nonlinear. The magnetic material shows the
effect of saturation.
The B-H curve, shown in Figure, is called the magnetization
The reluctance of the magnetic path is dependent on the flux
density. It is low when B is low, high when B is high.
The magnetic circuit differs from the electric circuit in this
respect; resistance is normally independent of current in an
electric circuit, whereas reluctance depends on the flux density
in the magnetic circuit.
The B-H characteristics of three
different types of magnetic corescast iron, cast steel, and silicon
sheet steel-are shown in Figure.
Note that to establish a certain level
of flux density B* in the various
magnetic materials the values of
current required are different.
In electric machines, the rotor is physically
isolated from the stator by the air gap. A
cross-sectional view of a dc machine is
shown in Figure.
Practically the same flux is present in the poles (made of
magnetic core) and the air gap. To maintain the same flux
density, the air gap will require much more mmf than the core. If
the flux density is high, the core portion of the magnetic circuit
may exhibit a saturation effect. However, the air gap remains
unsaturated, since the B-H curve for the air medium is linear µ
is constant). A magnetic circuit having two or more media-such
as the magnetic core and air gap in Figure is known as a
composite structure. For the purpose of analysis, a magnetic
equivalent circuit can be derived for the composite structure.
Let us consider the simple composite structure of following
The driving force in this magnetic circuit is the mmf, F = Ni, and
the core medium and the air gap medium can be represented by
their corresponding reluctances. The equivalent magnetic circuit
is shown in Figure.
Composite structure.
Magnetic core with air gap.
Magnetic equivalent circuit.
In the air gap the magnetic flux lines
bulge outward somewhat, as shown in
Figure, this is known as fringing of the
The effect of the fringing is to increase
the cross-sectional area of the air gap.
Fringing flux.
For small air gaps the fringing effect can be neglected. If the
fringing effect is neglected, the cross-sectional areas of the core
and the air gap are the same and therefore:
The following figure represents the magnetic circuit of a primitive
relay. The coil has 500 turns and the mean core path is lc = 360 mm.
When the air gap lengths are 1.5 mm each, a flux density of 0.8 tesla is
required to actuate the relay. The core is cast steel.
(a) Find current in the coil.
(b) Compute the values of permeability and relative permeability of
the core.
(c) If the air gap is zero, find the current in the coil for the same flux
density (0.8 T) in the core.
The air gap is small and so fringing
can be neglected. Hence the flux
density is the same in both air gap
and core. From the B-H curve of the
cast steel core (Fig. 1.7).
Note that although the air gap is very small compared to the
length of the core (lg = 1.5 mm, Ic = 360 mm), most of the mmf
is used at the air gap.
(b) Permeability of core:
Relative permeability of core:
Note that if the air gap is not present, a much smaller
current is required to establish the same flux density in the
magnetic circuit.
In the magnetic circuit of following figure, the relative
permeability of the ferromagnetic material is 1200. Neglect
magnetic leakage and fringing. All dimensions are in centimeters,
and the magnetic material has a square cross sectional area.
Determine the air gap flux, the air gap flux density, and the
magnetic field intensity in the air gap.
The mean magnetic paths of the fluxes are shown by dashed
lines in previous figure. The equivalent magnetic circuit is shown
in following figure.
From symmetry
The loop equations are:
A coil wound on a magnetic core, such as that shown in Figure is
frequently used in electric circuits. This coil may be represented
by an ideal circuit element, called inductance, which is defined
as the flux linkage of the coil per ampere of its current.
Coil-core assembly.
Equivalent inductance.
defines inductance in terms of physical
dimensions, such as cross-sectional area
and length of core.
defines inductance in terms of the
reluctance of the magnetic path
Note that inductance varies as the square of the number of
For the magnetic circuit of Figure, N = 400 turns. Mean core
length lg = 50 cm. Air gap length lg = 1.0 mm
Cross-sectional area Ac = Ag = 15 cm^2. Relative permeability
of core µr= 3000. i = 1.0 A
(a) Flux and flux density in the air gap.
(b) Inductance of the coil.
The coil in Figure has 250 turns and is wound on a silicon sheet
steel. The inner and outer radii are 20 and 25 cm,
respectively, and the toroidal core has a circular cross
section. For a coil current of 2.5 A.
(a) The magnetic flux density at the mean radius of the toroid.
(b) The inductance of the coil, assuming that the flux density
within the core is uniform and equal to that at the mean
Inductance can also be calculated using the other equation
(a) Core-coil assembly and exciting circuit.
(b) Hysteresis.
(c) Hysteresis loops.
Magnetization and hysteresis loop
* Assume that the core is initially un-magnetized.
1. If the magnetic intensity H is now increased by slowly,
increasing the current i, the flux density will change according
to the curve Oa in Figure.
The point a corresponds to a particular value of the magnetic
intensity, say H1 (corresponding current is i 1) .
2. If the magnetic intensity is now slowly decreased, the B-H curve
will follow a different path, such as abc in Figure b.
3. When H is made zero, the core has retained flux density Br,
known as the residual flux density.
4. If H is now reversed (by reversing the current i) the flux in the
core will decrease and for a particular value of H, such as H; in
Figure b, the residual flux will be removed. This value of the
magnetic field intensity ( - Hc) is known as the coercivity or
coercive force of the magnetic core.
5. If H is further increased in the reverse direction, the flux
density will increase in the reverse direction. For current –i1
the flux density will correspond to the point e.
6. If H is now decreased to zero and then increased to the value
H1, the B-H curve will follow the path efga’. The loop does not
7. If H is now varied for another cycle, the final operating point is
a". The operating points a‘ and a" are closer together than
points a and a'.
8. After a few cycles of magnetization, the loop almost closes,
and it is called the hysteresis loop. The loop shows that the
relationship between B and H is nonlinear and multivalued.
Note that at point c the iron is magnetized, although the current in
the coil is made zero. Throughout the whole cycle of
magnetization, the flux density lags behind the magnetic intensity.
This lagging phenomenon in the magnetic core is called hysteresis.
Smaller hysteresis loops are obtained by decreasing the
amplitude of variation of the magnetic intensity. A family of
hysteresis loops is shown in Figure c. The locus of the tip of the
hysteresis loop, shown dashed in Figure c, is called the
magnetization curve. If the iron is magnetized from an initial
unmagnetized condition, the flux density will follow the
magnetization curve. In some magnetic cores, the hysteresis
loop is very narrow. If the hysteresis effect is neglected for such
cores, the B-H characteristic is represented by the
magnetization curve.
Deltamax Cores
Figure d: B-H loop for a deltamax
core (50% Fe and 50% Ni).
Special ferromagnetic alloys are sometimes developed for special
applications. The hysteresis loops for these alloys have shapes
that are significantly different from those shown in Figure b and
c. An alloy consisting of 50% iron and 50% nickel has the B-H loop
shown in Figure d
Cores made of alloys having this type of almost square B-H loop
are known as deltamax cores. A coil wound on a deltamax core
can be used as a switch.
Note that when the flux density is less than the residual flux
density (B < Br ) the magnetic intensity (and hence the current)
is quite low.
As the flux density exceeds the residual flux density (B > Br ), the
magnetic intensity (hence the current) increases sharply.
This property can be exploited to make a coil wound on a
deltamax core behave as a switch (very low current when the
core is unsaturated and very high current when the core is
In ac electric machines as well as many
other applications, the voltages and
fluxes vary sinusoidally with time.
From Faraday's law, the voltage induced
in the N-turn coil is
Note that if the flux changes sinusoidally, the induced voltage
changes cosinusoidally. The root mean square (rms) value of the
induced voltage is:
This is an important equation and will be referred to frequently
in the theory of ac machines.
A single phase 120 V, 60 Hz supply is connected to the coil of Figure. The coil
has 200 turns. The parameters of the core are as follows:
Length of core = 100 cm
Cross-sectional area of core = 20 cm*cm
Relative permeability of core = 2500
(a) Obtain an expression for the flux density in the core.
(b) Obtain an expression for the current in the coil.
(a) From the Erms= 4.44Nfmax
max =Erms/4.44Nf= 120/(4.44*200*60)
= 0.002253 Wb
= 358.575 At/m